The scope of the project was limited to audio recordings from the library’s collection that were free of legal restrictions, which meant: only 78 rpm records from the first half of the 20th century. The format is unique, left to specialists and forgotten by listeners and producers. 78 records are almost never used for sampling and it’s this application that makes Ko Shin Moon’s album stand out. Many factors needed to be considered, including white noise, breaths, the harshness of certain frequencies, and the production style from the era of the recordings.
Using these precious resources as a creative tool, Ko Shin Moon made substantial rearrangements, but they forced themselves to respect the original tuning of the recordings by setting their analog synthesizers and instruments to the same microtonality as the records.
Most of the chosen samples were recorded between 1910 and 1940 and came from different parts of the world. These include: North Africa for Gasba and La Rivière The Middle East and Central Asia for Segah, Bayati Chiraz, and Nava, India for Devi Sthothra and Narayan, Mozambique for I-XIII, South Asia for L’Offrande and Sabat Sabing, Japan for Les Consonnes and France for L’Offrande.
“We’re very thankful to have been able to have our work infused with such cultural heritage,” says Ko Shin Moon. “We thank the Bibliothèque nationale de France for their trust and above all, we want to show our respect to the musicians and singers present on these recordings.”’